AT JUST 23, Roar attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols is already a veteran.
After making his debut as an 18-year-old in 2007/08, he now has 101 A-League caps to his name.
He doesn't see being an experienced player at such a young age as an issue - rather, Nichols is known as a joker among his teammates.
"I've always been pretty vocal. I think that gets on the older boys' nerves because I am so young," Nichols said.
"But that's the way I am. It's a good trait to have I think."
You can bet the Roar dressing room was full of laughs after its 5-0 win over the Victory on Saturday night.
Nichols scored a goal and was awarded man of the match for his efforts.
He wasn't quite as thrilled last month, however, after a trial with Randers FC in the Danish top flight competition didn't go to plan.
He said he believed the club's decision to axe coach Michael Hemmingsen had cost him a spot in the squad.
"It was just one of those things. It was good to go over there and experience some European football," Nichols said.
"The club went through a restructure. I'm not disappointed about it - that's football.
"I learnt from that and took confidence from it. Hopefully another opportunity like that will come up."
Indeed, if Nichols continues to bamboozle teams in the same fashion he did against the Victory, another opportunity to prove himself in Europe might come up again as early as next year - he comes off contract at the end of the 2012/13 season.
As well as wanting another crack at the big stage in Europe, Nicholls is also keen to break back into the national side - he made his debut for the Socceroos against Kuwait in 2009, but hasn't managed a game since.
"I've had a little taste. It's something I want to be involved in all the time," he said.
"But I need to be playing at my best 90 minutes each game, week in and week out to be considered."
The Roar travel to Wellington this Sunday at Westpac Stadium, and Nichols said it was never easy travelling to New Zealand to take on the Phoenix in front of an intimidating crowd.
Wellington will be bolstered by the return of a handful of its New Zealand internationals who missed Sunday's 1-1 draw with the Heart in Melbourne.
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